The 2 Anchors

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Shanties and Songs of the Sea

  • Introducing the new line up

    Many of our followers will have noted that we have been a bit quiet on the gigging front since our return from Liverpool.

    Many more will be aware that there have been a number of changes in relation to the band's lineup and we can now make a formal announcement that we have settled the band's lineup with the addition of our newest member, Gwen de Bôtes-Commine, who joins us following a very successful run of practices as a permanent member of the 2 Anchors.

    Gwen takes on the female dynamic of the band and has a fine clear voice that many will get to hear for the first time at our forthcoming gig at the Witcombe Pirates' Evening on the 20th March.

    We do have plans to unlease the 2 Anchors before then, probably at an open mic, via Youtube or even a Folk Club singaround floor spot, so keep reading!

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  • Liverpool Shanty Festival: Now we know why the Leaving of Liverpool is the hardest cut of all.

    Liverpool, what a town - celebrated in song and, in particular, shanties where even a walk through the town centre seems like you are walking through a shanty.

    Lyme Street, Canning Place, Paradise Street, Bramley-Moore Dock, BAR Lightship - all celebrated in song, with many, many more.

    So it was with a great deal of excitement that we set sail to Liverpool and were not disappointed with what we found: the warmest of warm welcomes, great people, fabulous venues and the chance to sing in such an iconic place.

    The first gig took place in the White Star whose Landlady, Jackie, was a real diamond of a landlady and made us feel particularly welcomed. She put us on a screen in her pub as we entertained regulars at this fantastic old-style pub in the Cavern Quarter of the town. Singing to a raucous crowd of Norwegian sailors and to a great audience we kicked off the shanty festival together with David Howden (who Skipper famously referred to as Bob Ford - there was no Bob Ford at all on the programme - so goodness knows where that gem came from). Dave was then followed by Yesterday's Men - Harry Lowrey and Arthur Garnett who gave us such a great display of really strong singing and fabulously arranged concertina interplay: a real honour to have witnessed that. The evening at the White Star then ended with our hosts, Trim Rig and A Doxy singing us a great set: Derek's supreme voice offset by intelligent melodeon from Julia, a real treat. The roof was raised and a great time had by all.

    Then up to the Baltic Fleet for a rattling evening of shanty singing with the assembled artists - again what a fantastic place and micro brewery who managed to brew up a storming Festival Ale exclusively for the Shanty Festival itself. Great to meet up with old and new friends in such a convivial atmosphere. That ended Friday night's fun.

    Saturday started off again in the White Star where the 2 Anchors combined with Sue Van Gaalen who gave us a fantastic array of songs, chorus songs and shanties. Sue treated us to a load of really great songs but our favourite was definitely the one about stowing beans in a Japanese Freighter. So much so the Handsome Cabin Boy has threatened to learn this, so await a 2 Anchors rendition soon...

    After lunch we hot footed it up to the Baltic Fleet and sang another set with Trim Rig and a Doxy, again entertaining the pub and other performers to our own brand of shantynanigans - with a turn and turn about set, again a great time was had by all and we handed over proceedings to the Port Sunlight Sea Dogs to carry on entertaining the extremely packed venue.

    Evening singing was rounded off in the Baltic Fleet where a great singaround ensued from the assembled acts, ending with Tom, from the Baltic Fleet, treating us to his rendition of the Drunken Sailor.

    Sunday culminated in a surprise gig on he BAR Lightship with Yesterday's Men before we had to hot foot it back to Gloucester. The leaving of Liverpool truly did grieve us and we long to be back.

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  • Stroud Folk Festival - an update

    What a weekend we have had recently at the rather splendid Stroud Folk Festival.

    We were joined on the Friday with co-hosts Gwyllim Davies and Rod Penlington in Mr Twitchetts to run a shanty session and by gum this raised the roof! We had a great selection of shanties from Rod, ex of the Gloucester Diamonds - Gloucester's previous well-renowned shanty crew, alas now defunct, sang in his extraordinarily strong and melodic voice. This was then backed up by Gwyllim providing some local songs and some comic relief concerning seaweed collected by him from our own Eileen's grandfather! The night was rounded off with the 2 Anchors raising the roof and having members of Minchinhampton Rugby Club joining in on the choruses.

    The Saturday saw us performing at the George Rooms where we entertained the assembled audience there, and raised some smiles. Later we led a shanty session and managed to get a sizeable portion of the pub singing shanties. Many thanks for those who attended and for their input and support - we could not have done it without you and were very glad to have heard the very special Japanese Whaling Song - a song we intend to poach and give the Anchors treatment.

    Finally, our festival commitments at an end we decided to return on the Sunday to catch Si Barron at the Black Books Café with his ace guitar playing and great vocals and were treated to a fine selection of numbers by Ceilidh-Jo to boot. We then headed over for the final shanty session of the festival at the Little Vic led by Rod Penlington and again managed to lift the rafters and sing loud and proud. A veritable #shantyfest.

    So, special thanks going out to the organisers of the festival and for the invitation to perform. Thanks to Paul McLaughlin from the Sub Rooms for the fabulous venue and finally to Brad McEwan for his excellent scheduling and arranging of the song and tune sessions. See you soon!

    Cheers

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  • Stroud Brewery Gig

    Firstly, thanks to everyone who turned up at Stroud Brewery to help us to celebrate International Talk Like a Pirate Day.

    We had fancy dress

    We had a wedding party

    We had shanties and sea songs

    We had a great time!

    Such a brilliant audience participation was had with cheers, joining in and fancy dress that you had really to be there to experience it all!

    There were so many highlights that only a few can be mentioned but big thanks to the Bride and her party who really got into the swing of things and joined in on most stuff. Hoping to see you in Liverpool, guys, for more of the same.

    Thanks also to Charlie who joined in on the Drunken Sailor (reloaded) and had a great time helping us to Anchor up the brewery.

    But final thanks have to go to the winner of the fancy dress competition. A young girl who in the spirit of fancy dress put a peg leg on (she didn't wholly saw her leg off but it looked like she had) and sat there all night with her stump and crutch having a great time. She was a well-deserved winner and we hope she had fond memories of her win - enjoys the CD and T-shirt that she won!

    Until next time, you know when you've been 2 Anchored.

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  • Ellesmere Port - We love you!

    So despite the less than cryptic warnings from the local police force that "Arson is a crime" we managed to get cabin fever in the car in a mammoth journey which should've taken two and a half hours but ended up taking 6 hours, to pitch a tent in the dark and to find a wetherspoons we finally arrived in Ellesmere Port.

    What a great welcome we had! Met some great new friends: Hissyfit, The Short Drag Rogers and the Old Gaffers, as well as aquainting ourselves with the legend himself , the one and only, the inimitable Moose Rosser and being very privileged to have heard John Connolly sing we sang up a storm and had a timber-shivering time!

    Many thanks to Julia and Derek for organising the event and fto the beautiful surroundings of the National Waterways Museum in Ellesmere Port . We hope to see you again next year

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band blog

The 2 Anchors are: Nick, Steve and Gwen

Presenting shanties and sea songs sung harmoniously and with gusto: Enjoyment guaranteed or your money back...

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Skipper (Steve)

Steve has been involved in the folk world for over 20 years and with the 2 Anchors since their inception.

With a richly powerful baritone voice he leads the 2 Anchors in song whenever they are in dock.

Bo's'un (Nick)

Nick is the other member from the original 2 Anchors line-up and has been on board for the last 5 years.

Nick compliments the Anchors sound with his harmonies and has extensive experience in the Folk World, both man and boy.

He ensures us that it really is the toughest job he's ever had, but we don't believe him.

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Gwen de Bôtes-Commine, the saucy figurehead (Gwen)

Gwen is our newest addition and joins from a theatrical background.

Gwen has recently been adopted by not only a couple of shanty crews but also The Royal Navy.

Gwen has a clear, bright, harmonious and powerful voice which she adds to the 2 Anchors' performances.

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